May 12, 2014
HUNTINGTON, W. Va. – When the 2014 season started, the Marshall softball team struggled to find an identity in its youth. The 2014 Thundering Herd was made up of eight true freshman, one redshirt freshman, seven sophomores and four upperclassmen.
Coach Shonda Stanton always said that if there was one thing she’d expect from this young Herd was that they’d be inconsistently consistent. Stanton assured the team that April would be their month and that with a few great days in May, they would have an opportunity to win another championship – they just needed to believe.
She was right. This team had yet another historic, record-breaking season.
- Only team at Marshall to make four total appearances in a Conference USA championship game
- First team at Marshall to make three consecutive C-USA title games
- Second team in C-USA softball history (started in 2000) to make a championship game as a No.7 seed (UTEP 2009)
- In conference history, Marshall is the first school to make three straight C-USA title game appearances besides former member DePaul, which went to six in row from 2000-05 before leaving conference for the Big East.
- As a team, the Herd set a new record for RBI in a season with 244 (previous 238 in 2008)
- As a team, the Herd set a new record for runs scored in a season, ending with 282 (previous 278 in 2003)
- Marshall had four All-Tournament Team honorees – all of which were underclassmen (Shaelynn Braxton, Jordan Dixon, Kaelynn Greene and Morgan Zerkle)
- Senior Savanah Webster earned her first C-USA Player of the Week recognition
- Freshman Jordan Dixon set a new freshman record for strikeouts in single season 245, the previous notch was 160 set by Christy Waring in 1995
- This was the first time Marshall had three straight seasons with a 200+ strikeout pitcher Andi Williamson 268 in 2012 (junior), Williamson 364 in 2013 (senior), Dixon 245 in 2014
- Freshman Morgan Zerkle set a new Marshall record for stolen bases in a single season with 48, breaking the previous record of 41 set by Sierra Davenport in 2004
- Zerkle and Kaelynn Greene combined for 79 stolen bases – the first time that two players combine for this much Herd history. Sierra Davenport and Amanda Williams held the mark with 75 in 2004
- Sophomore Shaeylnn Braxton is the first Herd player with 50+ RBI in a single season since Samantha Rodriguez with 55 in 2007. Braxton ended with 57
- Braxton (57) and Raquel Escareno (42) combined for 99 RBI – the second-highest mark by two Marshall players (2007 Samantha Rodriquez (55) and Rachel Folden (47) combined for 102)
- Greene broke the single-season record for hits, finishing with 81 (Amanda Williams 75 in 2003)
- Greene is the first player with 60+ hits in consecutive seasons since Rachel Folden (2005-2008)
- Greene has 143 hits combined in two seasons – the most by a Herd player in its first two seasons
- With 204 at bats, Greene is the first Marshall player with 200+ at bats in a single season since Carrie Hinkle with 205 in 1997
- With 125, total bases, Braxton is the first member of the Herd with 120+ total bases since Rachel Folden with 129 in 2006
- Ending with a .718 slugging percentage, Braxton is the first Marshall player to end the season above a .700 slugging percentage since Rachel Folden with .902 in 2008
- Braxton is the first player with 30+ extra base hits in a single season (14 2Bs, 1 3B, 16 HRs) since Rachel Folden in 2008 (20 2Bs, 1 3B, 17 HRs)
- Braxton (57) finished three RBI away from tying Rachel Folden's single season record of 60 in 2005
- Braxton (16) finished 2 long balls away from tying Rachel Folden's single season record of 18 in 2006.
- Braxton had a career day April 9 against Northern Kentucky, the sophomore hit three home runs in a game, had eight RBI and 12 total bases – all of which were single-game highs for Marshall.
- Webster (.455) was the first Marshall player to end the season with above a .450 on-base percentage in a single season since Rachel Folden with .562 in 2008.
- This season the top three hitters (Greene, Zerkle and Braxton) combined for the most hits in a single season in Marshall history (209).
- First time in Herd history that three players end a season with 40+ runs scored. Zerkle with 43, Shae 41 and Greene 40. Only once before has Marshall had two players with 40+ runs scored in a season (Sierra Davenport 51 and Amanda Williams 46 in 2003).
- Unable to access records since 2005, this is the first season the Herd had four players with a .400+ on-base percentage (Webster .455, Braxton .418, Greene .417 and Zerkle .401). In 2006, the Herd had three players with over .400 (Rachel Folden .485, Amanda Williams .430 and Jessica Williams .400).